The University of Utah yesterday publicly released its investigators’ findings in the allegations by swimmers and their families of years of inaction on the monstrous misbehavior of coach Greg Winslow, who was suspended in February, then quickly fired for good, after ConcussionInc. reported that he was under criminal investigation for earlier sexual abuse of a teen club swimmer at Sun Devil Aquatics in Arizona.
The full text of the Utah report is at http://www.scribd.com/doc/151368141/U-of-U-swim-coach-investigation.
Below: Tim Joyce’s first take.
Next here: Statements by whistleblower former Ute swimmer Austin Fiascone and his father, Matt Fiascone.
Later: A local news and commentary round-up, plus further observations by me.
In all-too-predictable fashion, the University of Utah’s internal investigation into former swim coach Greg Winslow’s abusive practices resulted in nary a slap on the wrist for athletic director Chris Hill and the rest of the department staff. It is, sadly, yet again another instance of an alarming lack of accountability in the college sports world. Be it Penn State or Rutgers or in Salt Lake City, all the investigations and reports in the world are utterly meaningless without immediate accountability.
The report, overseen by famed NCAA “fixer” Mike Glazier was conveniently timed during the quietest period in a university calendar and just a day before a long holiday weekend.
To quote Utah President David Pershing – “after thoroughly reviewing this report, it is clear to me the athletics department filaed to properly support its students.”
But unlike a student who is punished for failing a class, it appears that Hill isn’t taken to task for his abject failure in overseeing a sports program that was rife with complaints over a period of years.
Via letters, phone calls and meetings with student-athletes and parents over a period of years, Hill was made aware of Winslow’s abusive training practices and otherwise reprehensible behavior.
And let’s remember that Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned his position as after the abusive practices of former basketball coach Mike Rice became public.
Rice’s antics included excessive cursing and throwing basketballs at his players. I’ll let readers decide which is more egregious of a sin – Rice’s transgressions or those committed by Winslow. To me, it’s not even close. Simply put – Winslow put his athletes’ lives in danger whereas Rice behaved like a typically insecure jock bully.
Says Kathryn Mason, the mother of one of the many victims of Winslow: “That’s it? Nothing more? Months and month of investigation and that is all they came up with. I am shocked.”
We’re awaiting additional comments from parents and victims. These are victims three-times over: victims of Winslow’s abuse, of Hill’s arrogant detachment, and of a university that decided that the only course of action after investigating all of this was to do nothing.
The report also appraently found no evidence of any racially motivated abse by Winslow. This despite evidence of Winslow taping a PVC pipe to the back, arms and hands of a black swimmer who had joked about being let of out practice for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2010, then forcing the student athlete to swim underwater sprints until he blacked out in the pool.
Which reminds us of one more admission in the report: no locus of responsibility for the original campus “investigation” by the Office of Equal Opportunity, which was used to blow off whistleblowers Austin and Matt Fiascone and others before the Arizona criminal case against Winslow forced Utah officials’ hands.